Qatar's private sector has strengthened its efforts to complement the sovereign strategy to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, with Aamal Company, a fast growing diversified conglomerate, fast tracking its "mobile" pharmacies and mobile app 'Rimads' for home delivery of medicines to better address the needs of the society.
"Despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Aamal’s diversified business model provides resilience in these challenging times, and our corporate strategy remains clear as we continue to focus on generating value through diversification and profitable growth," its chief executive and managing director Sheikh Mohamed bin Faisal al-Thani told Gulf Times.
Although the duration (of the pandemic) remains unclear, he said all Aamal subsidiaries are "closely monitoring" developments and assessing the implications for their operations.
In this regard, Sheikh Mohamed highlighted that its subsidiary Ebn Sina Healthcare Pharmacy Solutions has received approval from the Ministry of Public Health to use its warehouse delivery vans as ‘mobile pharmacies’ to help deliver medicines to homes.
"The Rimads mobile application, which Ebn Sina Healthcare Pharmacy Solutions helped to launch, is now working smoothly at Ebn Sina Pharmacy, providing professional home delivery of medicine and consumer products including face masks and hand sanitisers," he said.
The app was created by the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
In co-operation with a wide network of international suppliers, both Ebn Sina Medical and Aamal Medical have been maintaining strategic stocks of essentials such as medicines, baby milk, and safety items to cover local market needs, as well as life-saving medical equipment from multinational suppliers to cover all the needs of hospitals and pharmacies, he said.
"Both subsidiaries have overcome the challenges in receiving medical supplies from countries during the current lockdown, and successfully secured local stocks," Sheikh Mohamed said.
Despite the challenges presented by the unprecedented circumstances, Aamal Company recorded a strong first-quarter performance in its trading and distribution segment, which was primarily due to Ebn Sina Medical.
Considering that the pandemic could be a long-drawn battle, Qatar's corporate sector has increasingly shown interests in manufacturing the products related to healthcare with many already announcing their plans to manufacture masks and also increase production of hand sanitisers.
However, Aamal Company said it would carefully evaluate the prospects before venturing into productions of medical products.
"While we have a strong presence in the medical sector as a supplier of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, entering into the production of medical products or pharmaceuticals is a very different industry and we need to carefully evaluate the feasibility of doing so before taking such decision," he said.
Sheikh Mohamed also said its subsidiary Al Farazdaq has introduced a new product made from PVC that can be used by industrial companies to protect their staff and it is also producing acrylic shields for offices and different types of social distancing stickers.
The disinfectant business is one of the most recent services to be launched by Aamal Services.
"The need for disinfectant has significantly increased due to the current pandemic," he said, hinting that it would expand this service, to residential, office, and industrial sites.
Asserting that Aamal Company has responded swiftly to the crisis with many of its businesses launching innovative new services to benefit Qatar in these challenging times; he said "we are well positioned to remain resilient and to emerge strongly from this crisis."